Rock the Earth
» Rock the Earth Forges an Alliance
» Rock the Earth's Inaugural Snow Ball - A Benefit Show on the Front Range!
» Membership Has its Privileges
» Take Me to the River
» On the Road Again...
» How Can YOU Help Rock the Earth?
» Victor Wooten Rocks the Earth
» Rock the Earth Photo

Rock the Earth Forges an Alliance

We're thrilled to announce that on March 1, Rock the Earth will move into our first office, in historic Lower Downtown Denver. Rock the Earth will be part of the newly established Alliance Center. The Alliance Center is a newly-renovated building on Wynkoop Street in Denver. A number of environmental and progressive organizations have come together to share space and create a nexus of social action.

Our office in the Alliance Center will allow Rock the Earth to utilize resources - a multi-media library, meeting and event space, and office supplies - while being in close proximity to current and potential partners. Some of the organizations which will also be housed in the building include the Colorado Environmental Coalition, League of Conservation Voters, the Rocky Mountain Progressive Network, and the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project. The office is also located across the street from Union Station, which will soon be a transportation hub along the Front Range, and many important music venues.

In this initial phase, the five-story Center will house 20 nonprofit organizations. Over the course of the next three years, an additional 40-50,000 square foot building will be built adjacent to the current center, allowing for dozens of additional nonprofit organizations to relocate to this important Center. According to its vision, the Alliance Center will provide a base for tenants and like-minded community organizations around the state to develop programs jointly in high quality, healthy and environmentally sound space. Future amenities include a yoga instruction room, rooftop garden for gatherings, and work space for visiting colleagues.

Rock the Earth is thrilled and honored to be one of the first tenants of this visionary project. This is a huge step in our growth as an organization and will help us meet our mission of helping to ensure a sustainable and healthy environmental for all. Look for updates and more information in the March newsletter!

Go here to read a recent article about the Alliance Center in Denver's Westword!

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Rock the Earth's Inaugural Snow Ball - A Benefit Show on the Front Range!

Shanti Groove

For those of you on the Front Range or joining us here for The String Cheese Incident's Spring Ski Incidents, be sure to be in Denver on Wednesday, March 23rd for Rock the Earth's Inaugural Snow Ball! Ring in the spring with a Rock the Earth musical benefit show in Denver, where we'll be joined by Shanti Groove and Dr. Banjo himself, Pete Wernick, along with other special guests! We are thrilled to host this amazing event, as benefit shows demonstrate in living color the connection between music & the environment by bringing everyone together for a charitable cause. Don't miss this rockin' ball as we dance our way into spring! Not only will we be featuring great music by environmentally conscious musicians, but we'll also be featuring a silent auction and raffle.

Tickets will be available soon through Baseline Ticketing. There will be more information about the venue and ticket prices coming soon, but plan to join us on March 23rd and help Rock the Earth!

Just Announced!! The String Cheese Incident will host two benefit shows in Park City, Utah to help Rock the Earth! A portion of the proceeds from these two shows will be donated to Rock the Earth, so come hear one of the best bands in the music circuit right now and help us Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time with The String Cheese Incident! Tickets are available through Baseline Ticketing - more info to come in the next edition of RtE Notes!

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Membership Has its Privileges

Special sale for members only!
That's right, we've got a great members-only sale going on right now with some very special merchandise from artist Ryan Kerrigan and photographer Tobin Poppenberg, as well as our fabulous 100% organic cotton/hemp Rock the Earth t-shirt - all on sale just for members!

We have a limited supply of posters signed and numbered by Ryan Kerrigan - his Peace Print from Spring 2002 and Phish New Year's Eve 2002/2003 - as well as a photograph of Zach Velmer of Sound Tribe Sector 9, taken by Tobin Poppenberg, and signed by both Tobin and Zach! Both Ryan and Tobin combine their love of music and art, providing beautiful imagery and photographs of the music community, and we are thrilled to offer their artwork to you. We have limited supplies of both Kerrigan prints for only $15 each and a handful of the signed Zach Velmer photographs for $25 each!

We're also offering our Rock the Earth t-shirts to members for only $25, as well as our Summer Tour 2004 and Benefit Show posters for only $10 - if you missed out on these at events last year pick one up now on sale!

Peace Print by Ryan Kerrigan

Autographed Photo of Zach Velmer (STS9)

Phish NYE Poster

If you are interested in any of these items please email us immediately at so we can process your order! Take advantage of this limited time offer while it lasts!

Don't forget to renew your membership - we have a very special gift for our loyal supporters! In addition to our normal gifts corresponding to your membership level, all renewing members will receive a bonus thank you gift - a copy of Jam-Cam Chronicles--Smilefest DVD! If you want to see how much your membership has helped Rock the Earth, take a look at our Annual Report, which lists the projects, successes and members who have helped us to gain credibility in both the music and environmental community. It will be available on our website or you can contact us to receive a printed copy. We couldn't have done all this without your help, and we hope that you'll continue to show your support to help us Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time!

We will be sending out renewal letters soon, so if you want to renew your membership and receive your thank you and bonus gift, you can renew through our Membership page right now! 2005 will be another groundbreaking year for RtE and we hope to you will be a part of our continued success.

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Take Me to the River

Water. Water is critically important to so many aspects of our daily lives; including urban development, agriculture, industry, recreation, and environmental preservation and is continually immersed in controversy and battles over control. In California, approximately 20,000 miles of rivers and streams drain water basins and sustain an incredible diversity of life. Rivers provide habitat for aquatic species and terrestrial wildlife species, which rely upon rivers and riparian habitats.

Dams. Dams are built primarily for flood control, municipal and agricultural water supply, or the production of power (hydroelectric). Water that is stored in reservoirs is later released downstream during high demand periods. In California, agriculture uses 85 percent of these developed water sources. Practically every major stream in California has one or more hydroelectric plants and associated dams along its course.

The mainstem Eel River in the Eel Rock area
Photo from

The Eel and Russian Rivers. The Eel River is the third largest river in California. It runs through five counties and is approximately 3,400 miles long, including its' tributaries. The Eel River Basin drains 3,684 square miles of land. The mouth of the Eel River is nearly two hundred miles north of the mouth of the Russian River, but at the rivers' headwaters only two miles separate the two rivers.

In the early 1900's, a tunnel was constructed through Snow Mountain to divert water from the south fork of the Eel River through the mountain and into a hydroelectric power plant on the other side in Potter Valley. Eel River water travels through this tunnel to turn turbines and generate electricity. The Eel River water is then released into the East Fork of the Russian River. The project provides homes and industry with needed power, but it also provides water to farmers and landowners along the Russian River and in Santa Rosa County. The complex of facilities (including dams, reservoirs) used to store water and generate electricity is currently owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and is known as the Potter Valley Project (PVP).

Threats to Ecological Balance. The US Forest Service found that rivers and riparian ecosystems were the most altered and impaired habitat type within the Sierra Nevada range and that dams and diversions were the most significant contributing factors to the decline. Dams alter the natural ecological functions by diverting water out of the river channel, altering water flow regimes, blocking the downstream flow of nutrients and sediments, changing water temperatures and oxygen levels, and impeding fish and wildlife migration. In addition to trapping water, dams prevent a large percent of the sediment suspended in the water, which is essential for healthy riverbeds, from continuing down stream.

Since the PVP water diversion project was constructed, the Eel River and Russian Rivers have experienced extensive environmental degradation. According to National Marine Fisheries Service, the Eel was once the largest producer of Chinook and Coho Salmon in California, and the second largest producer of Steelhead Trout. In order to increase the summer flows from the Eel River to the Russian River, the Scott Dam was built upriver from the Cape Horn Dam in the 1920s. The water impounded behind it created Lake Pillsbury, which destroyed a great deal of salmon and steelhead habitat. Currently these species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. One of the factors for coho salmon and steelhead trout is the loss of spawning and rearing habitat located upstream of Scott Dam. The PVP dams have contributed to the collapse of the Eel River salmon populations which, according to the California Department of Fish and Game, once supported runs of salmon and steelhead trout estimated to exceed ˝ million fish.

Reversing the Damage. Non-federal hydro dams constitute more than 80% of California's hydroelectric capacity. These dams are permitted for operation through fifty-year federal licenses approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The licenses for most projects were issued decades ago, and most of the hydro projects are operated under antiquated environmental laws, science, and population density projections. Many facilities are scheduled for re-licensing within the next 15 years, presenting an opportunity for the public to have a say in project operations and design. It is an opportunity to consider how to reduce impacts and restore the ecological balance to many of these important riparian systems and watersheds.

The FERC license for the PG&E Pottery Valley Project affecting the Eel and Russian Rivers expires September 2033. A provision of that license mandated that PG&E study how the Project affects Eel River fish and recommend a new flow regime to recover the fisheries. The battle over water rights for the Eel and Russian Rivers is going involve balancing the needs of the Russian River economy (agriculture and development) and the re-establishment of the salmon and steelhead fisheries and other ecological necessities of the Eel River.

Additional information on impacts to rivers and how you can get involved:

  • - This site provides issue-specific toolkits reports, and other resources to help you get involved in a variety of river restoration projects, including dam removal;
  • - For information on the permit and legal status of the Potter Valley Project see FERC docket No. P-77;
  • - Friends of the Eel River is a group formed with the objectives of decommissioning the PVP, including Scott and Van Arsdale dams and restoring the Eel River.

Reminder: Rock the Roan Plateau

Although Rock the Earth will be submitting its own set of technical and legal comments in collaboration with the Colorado Environmental Coalition to protect this critical ecosystem from the adverse impact from oil and gas drilling, there is strength in numbers. Please send your comments to the BLM today, urging the agency to craft a balanced plan for the Roan Plateau. For more information on where to comment and what to say, go to:

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On the Road Again...

The String Cheese Incident
Photo by C. Taylor Crothers


Springtime is around the corner and the music scene is beginning to blossom as bands revive their tour schedules and relieve us of those winter doldrums! Our Volunteer Staff members are also back out in the public eye again, as we stretch our outreach efforts across the country with bands like Sound Tribe Sector 9, ALO, and those barefoot boys, The String Cheese Incident. We're joining E-town once again as well, which featured the Del McCoury Band and Kaki King on February 13th, Hothouse Flowers and Cheryl Wheeler on February 27th and the North Mississippi Allstars and Dave Alvin on March 6th.

We will also be at the Langerado Music Festival at Markham Park in Sunshine, Florida, just on the edge of Florida's Everglades Conservation area! This festival is going on March 12-13 and features The String Cheese Incident, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Michael Franti & Spearhead, New Monsoon and many others! In a beautiful setting with 25 bands on 3 stages and 10,000 music fans, this is an exciting opportunity to help Rock the Earth! If you are going to Langerado we could really use your help and may even be able to provide discounted tickets to committed volunteers. Please volunteer to help at our outreach table for an hour to provide breaks to our Volunteer Staff or for a day to beginning training as a regional volunteer! At the very least, stop by and say hello to our dedicated Volunteer Staff!

Please check out our updated Tour Dates to see where and when we'll be in your area this spring!

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How Can YOU Help Rock the Earth?

Be a Summer Intern! Are you a student interested in a summer internship with RtE? This summer RtE will once again tour the country to educate music fans and environmentalists about our mission and the environmental issues that we are working on. We'll also be signing up new members and volunteers as well as continuing to build our relationships with musicians and organizations nationwide. We were very successful during our 2004 Summer Tour and look forward to growing our membership base and collaborating with even more artists in 2005! If you are interested in learning more about the Summer Outreach Intern Positions please email us at for a full job description.

Rock the Garden - Elitch Gardens! Do you live in Colorado? Do you love roller coasters, fried dough and fun in the sun? In April you can help Rock the Earth by joining us for Charity Day at Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO! We are joining other non-profit organizations in Colorado for a day of fun at Elitch Gardens on April 17th and want to invite YOU to come meet and get to know some of our Rock the Earth Volunteer Staff. The bigger the group the more fun it will be - we're even competing for the highest ticket sales, so invite your friends to learn about RtE and meet more music lovers and environmentalists in the Front Range! Tickets are only $19.99 for the day (regular price $37.99)! If you're interested in joining us, please send an email to us at for more information and to get your ticket!

Volunteer! With so many events planned, we'll need your help to continue promoting our mission to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time! We are still looking for volunteers to help us table shows and spread the word about RtE in their hometown scene. This is a fantastic opportunity to help out a grate cause - and what better work environment could you ask for?? Let us know if you can help out at any of the events on our Tour Schedule, for an hour or the whole show, or if you know of any events near you in which RtE could participate. We are always seeking volunteers and even have some great perks for those of you interested in training with us for an entire show! Email our Volunteer Coordinator at for more information!

Spread the Word! If you want to help out but can't table a show, you always download our new handbill to distribute at local music venues, college campuses and other events near you!  Get Involved and download now!

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Victor Wooten Rocks the Earth

Victor Wooten plays bass guitar in the Grammy-award winning Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He was awarded a 1999 Nashville Music Award for Bassist of the Year (his second) and in 1998, he received his third Bass Player of the Year award from Bass Player Magazine (the only bassist to have received this award more than once) and was named one of the Top 10 Bass Innovators of the '90s by the same publication. Victor has played with a wide variety of artists including, Bootsy Collins, Peter Rowan, Carter
Beauford, The String Cheese Incident, Stuart Duncan, Branford Marsalis, Paul McCandless, Bruce Hornsby, Grover Washington Jr., Shawn Colvin, Jon Anderson (of the group Yes), guitarist Adrian Belew, John Medeski, Chick Corea, and most recently, on the Acoustic Planet Tour with Keller Williams and the Yonder Mountain String Band. When not playing music professionally, Victor runs a wonderful bass and nature camp outside of Nashville Tennessee, combining music and the environment for aspiring bass players of all ages. Victor took notice of Rock the Earth's work opposing the King William Reservoir project in Virginia having grown up along the Mattaponi River and we hope to collaborate with Victor in the coming months to support local environmental groups fighting that project.

RtE: What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?
VW: The most critical environmental problem to me is the state of our minds. Any mind that would allow some of the things that are happening today to continue to happen is a problem. A teacher of mine once said that "We kill our grandchildren to feed our children." There is a lot of truth in this statement. The craziness lies in the fact that, like people who smoke, we know it's wrong.

RtE: What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your music?
VW: My music usually has to do with what's on my mind. It's one of my ways of trying to help.

RtE: Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace of inspiration?
VW: Because I travel a lot, I have had to learn to recognize nature everywhere, even in me. So, the natural place inside my mind is where I go often. There are many issues in there that need resolving also. I also really like spending time in the woods learning about, listening to, living with and giving in to Nature. It's hard to spend time living off of the land and then turn around and destroy it.

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Rock the Earth Photo

RtE Board Member Glenn Fee Rocking the Earth at the Taj Mahal

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